When the Minnesota Vikings drafted UAB Running back DeWayne McBride in the seventh round, it essentially confirmed what all of us had been suspecting for months: Dalvin Cook is a goner.
When Dalvin Cook is cut or traded, the Vikings will likely have four running backs make the 53-man roster. Alexander Mattison, Ty Chandler, DeWayne McBride, and Kene Nwangwu mainly contributing on special teams. While Alexander Mattison figures to get the bulk of the carries so long as he’s on the team, I wouldn’t discount the potential that a duo of Ty Chandler and DeWayne McBride possess.
Ty Chandler to me is best effective as a receiving back, even though he is capable of being an every-down back. Whereas, DeWayne McBride is more of a power runner who may have untapped potential as a pass catcher. If the Vikings were to move on from Alexander Mattison in two years, the duo of Chandler and McBride could be like Thunder and Lightning. The idea is fun to think about, given their contrasting yet complementary styles of play.
While some teams in the NFL are more willing to have one elite featured back, the Vikings seem to be headed toward a committee approach. The upside to this is that Minnesota will be saving a lot of money by essentially cycling through different running backs on rookie deals. The potential downside is that you could get less production from your running backs due to a lack of talent.
Fortunately for the Vikings, I don’t see that being an issue. Ty Chandler balled out last preseason, garnering 113 rushing yards in the three games he played. That puts him 8th in rushing yards among running backs in the 2022 Preseason. Chandler was also one of the more elusive running backs in college, and that seems to be translating to the NFL.
Ty Chandler finished preseason #1 on PFF's "elusive rating" for RBs (with 10+ carries). Dameon Price was 2nd.— Krauser (@Krauserrific) August 29, 2022
This is one of the 9 missed tackles Chandler forced, on only 15 carries. 70 of his 113 rushing yards came after contact. https://t.co/7mvpsu3wg8
Meanwhile, DeWayne McBride led the entire nation in rushing last year with a total of 1,713 rushing yards. McBride also averaged 7.4 yards per carry which led all of college football. Like Ty Chandler, DeWayne McBride has a penchant for breaking tackles, boasting a 36% career missed tackle rate at UAB.
UAB RB DeWayne McBride should have never been available in the 7th round. This is a crazy steal for the Minnesota #Vikings. pic.twitter.com/Pc8pw1ZAwW— vikesinsider (@vikesinsider) April 29, 2023
Needless to say, these aren’t some random UDFAs that were picked up off the street. Ty Chandler and DeWayne McBride are talented enough to be above-average starting running backs in the NFL, and I look forward to watching them play significant snaps. Even if Mattison’s presence prevents that from happening this year.